Destin has a special place in my heart. It’s one of the first cities that my husband and I started traveling to after we got married. It is actually the most visited beach along the Emerald coast. It may be famous for the color of the water and sand on its beaches, but Destin is so much more than that! If you are planning on visiting, here are 15 of the best things to do in Destin, Florida.
1. Eglin Beach Park
A beautiful beach that’s great for the family due to its typically small crowds.
2. Destin Park
Great place for water views, shaded picnic lunches. It’s also perfect to relax and capture one of the best sunset views in Destin.
3. Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park
Big Kahuna’s is the perfect activity to add to your itinerary if you are traveling with kids. (or if you are just a water park fan ;p) Adult tickets are $44 and childrens tickets are just $35. The park holds different festivals and events through out the year that can make your visit even more special. They have a BBQ festival in the summer, Oktoberfest in the fall, and Halloween Horror in October. For a complete list of their events, click HERE.
4. Eat at The Back Porch
The Back Porch has some amazing shrimp gumbo! It’s also right on the sand of the beach and it was a gorgeous place to sit and watch the sunset.
5. Gulfarium Marine & Adventure Park
The Gulfarium gives you opportunities for up close animal experiences. You can discover harbor seals, snorkel with stingrays, discover sea lions, alligators turtles, penguins and more! However, if these experiences aren’t for you, you can just use your general admission ticket ($24 for adults in the summer) to explore all of their exhibits, shows, and demonstrations.
6. Henderson Beach State Park
You have to pay to enter Henderson Beach State Park, however the beaches are wonderfully cared for and you have access to a well kept bathroom and shower house. Something to consider before you go is the fact that the better quality beach brings in bigger crowds.
7. Go SUPing in the Bay
Other than relaxing on the beach and in the crystal clear waters, SUPing in the Destin harbor is my fave!
8. Visit Norriego Point
I have said it once and I will say it again and again. Norriego Point has THE best beach in Destin. The white sand beach has the clearest and most tranquil waters in Destin. It’s the perfect place to snorkel. It’s also a great place for children, because the waters are so still.
9. Navarre Beach Marine Park
One of Floridas most relaxing beaches!
10. Destin Harbor Boardwalk
Wonderful nightlife! Music, drinks, dancing, tons of restaurants and places to buy souvenirs. You can walk along the boardwalk and dream about owning one of the boats anchored in the harbor. Destin actually has the largest number of fishing vessels, than anywhere else in Florida. I love going out to the boardwalk and listening to the live music. Everyone finds their way to a table and chairs, but once they’re all taken everyone else just stand around drinking, eating, singing, and just having a great time. You can even zip line over the boardwalk. Definitely a must do when you are in Destin!
11. Take Sand Castle Lessons
Fun fact: Destins white sand actually isn’t the sand that’s naturally found there. Quartz Crystal found in the Appalachian Mountains is ground up and brought down to the gulf via the Apalachicola River. I had always assumed that the sand was natural and it’s honestly kind of disappointing to find out that it’s not, haha. Either way, Destin now has one of the whitest beaches in the world!
12. Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier
Great for bird watching, fishing, and fireworks in the summer. If you are looking for more information on what types of fish gets caught off of the pier, their Facebook page provides a report of what fish were got there at the end of each day.
Visit their Facebook page, HERE.
13. FudPuckers Restaurant
I LOVE FudPuckers! They have an alligator beach and you can even feed them yourself! They have such a fun and colorful interior. I like to get their fried alligator. Their hushpuppies and home made dipping sauce are also AMAZING!
14. Take a tour of Crab Island
Crab Island is a very popular place for vacationers in Destin. It actually isn’t much of a island at all, it’s a sandbar that makes for a great place to anchor boats. In some places you can get out into the water and swim or snorkel in the waist deep clear water.
*An interesting fact about Destin is that Destin use to be an island. However, over time the sand and sea levels have changed and the popular gulf coast city is now connected to the mainland.
15. Eat at Tail Fins Restaurant
Another one of my favorite restaurants, Tail Fins doesn’t just have great food, it also has an amazing view of that gorgeous Destin water. On our most recent trip we were able to watch a kite festival over the water while we ate lunch.
I hope this list has helped you explore your options a bit when it comes to planning your Destin vacation. Happy Traveling!
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